From one of Causa Sui’s finest, another solo release - Absorb / Fabric / Cascade is a three song 37-minute exploration into the world between drone and rock. Jonas Munk’s previous solo releases have proven this man’s capabilities, and we are eager to find out what his next step will be. There’s only 500 going around, so get your hands on your own quick!
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There's so much to sing the praises of in this gentle giant of an ambient record from Jonas Munk. Let's start with “Absorb”, which is early morning kraut drone; its synths fade slowly in, like the rising sun getting incrementally lighter. Munk sets the pace with a subdued rhythm that acts as the first part of a day’s long cycle; he seamlessly ups volume and intensity, juxtaposing gentility with drama before stripping away the extra layers to rest on the quietness he’s been studying. It’s at this point that the constant comparisons of Munk’s work to traditional motorik and krautrock artists feels overstated: his interest in making emotive, liminal drone is leading proceedings here, and while he introduces fumbling effects and a minor climax that recalls both recent Steve McGuire work and the orchestral post-rock of Rachel’s -- only synthetic and futurist -- he’s ultimately crafting a piece around sustain, not repetition.
On the flip, things are quite stunning indeed, though the approach is less about background subtleties, and more about what we infer from the foreground. Or, long story short: it’s more accessible. “Fabric” uses outmoded synth sounds to recall the strange sci-fi traditionalism of Boards of Canada, the blaring chords sounding like a prediction we made of the future in the past. The piece climaxes by converting its arbitrary, droning pace into a freefall of notes and swirling effects. “Cascade” sounds nothing like its title promises, an extremely stifled passage of ambient that does away with any kraut influences and takes Munk to the most minimal of places -- no interacting textures, no warm tones, just a squeaking synth peaking and fading. The track eventually clamours, in a haze of estranged hiss and distortion, into a piece of cosmic ambient Jason Urick would be proud of.
Munk can do so much with so little, and proof of that exists on this gorgeous knockout of a drone record. He can make landscapes out of skeletons.
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- Absorb / Fabric / Cascade by Jonas Munk
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